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Thursday, April 21, 2005
  RoP looses one in PI
FOXNews.com - U.S. & World - Philippines Troops Rescue Hostages: "Philippines — Government troops on Thursday rescued 13 students and villagers hours after they were abducted in the southern Philippines (search), killing at least two kidnappers in a jungle clash that also left one police officer dead, military officials said.

The freed captives, shaken and bruised after they were forced to hike at gunpoint through a mountainous rain forest near Piagapo town in Lanao del Sur (search) province, were escorted to a military camp, where they were given snacks and a place to rest, marine Brig. Gen. Ben Dolorfino said.

Troops were pursuing at least eight other kidnappers in Lanao del Sur, about 500 miles south of Manila, he said.

The captives, mostly female university students, were traveling in a jeep in nearby Saguiran town, when armed men took control of the vehicle and herded them into a hinterland area while being chased by troops and Muslim guerrillas, marine Col. Arman Melo said.

The gunmen, who were also Muslims, picked out and immediately released eight veiled Muslim women among the 22 passengers. The rest of the Christian captives were taken away aboard the jeep and forced to hike in a mountain jungle, said a freed student, Angelique Arellano."
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